117 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.11.2020

Nov 23, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We had our meeting in the Gallery again.

The Topic for this month was “in Praise of Conflict” by Jonathan Marks:

We found many examples where, as the speaker said, the Government is collaborating with private companies, to the detriment of the tax payer. In Madeira, the Via Rapida was built 70 cm too small, and miraculously, the savings on material went into the construction of the Savoy hotel. Similar things happened on the mainland with the construction of the highways.

A construction company in Madeira removed rocks and sands out of the riverbeds for bulding. This was exposed in the Diario, and stopped. However, the Government should ask for payment for the material taken so far.

U. said that we as citizens should be more in control of government. The Diario used to report about court cases in the court in Ed 2000 building, they don’t do that anymore. But the Public should be there, to check up on the judges and the proceedings, and the newspapers should report about, for example, a delay  in procedure just because a lawyer failed to show up. We should challenge things, from sloppy service at Horarios do Funchal to the courts.

Cl. said that FB and Google need to be broken up because they cannot be controlled by the governments anymore

An ex-manager of Dupont, one of the biggest chemical companies in the world, has been nominated by president-to-be Biden to lead the environmental agency in his cabinet. Thus, the fox is let into the chicken coop. We should be wary of what Biden will do there.

We all admired the protesters in Belarus, Thailand and other countries who risk their lives and health for democracy. We in the west don’t have the need but might not have the stamina to do this.

We handed the control mechanism in our countries to the state, and the state is not fulfilling this role. Authorities must be challenged as well.

Altogether, as wars and conflict in third world countries persist, we shall have more and more refugees which have to be accepted by the advanced countries. If we let them in and give them work, they will want to succeed in the new country. Refugees challenge our status quo and create anxieties but they also contribute to a host country.

On the other hand, if the Syrians don’t manage to get rid of Assad, he will lay waste to the country. Because of dictatorships and cronyism, half of the world will be uninhabitable for normal people. Dictators need to go.

Democracies should not trade with these countries at all.

M. told the story that, some years ago, he paid an IMT of 10.000€ for a property purchase. The Tax office, however, had made a mistake; the amount was only to be 9300€. Instead of giving him 700€ back, they asked him to pay 9300€ again. He had to do this in order to proceed with the purchase of the property. They gave him the 10.000 € back much later. This, however may not be happening nowadays anymore.

In total, the old boys’ networks are still functioning. New competitors in the building sector, for example, cannot succeed because the old established companies are settled in with the Government.

The Government needs to be reminded that they work for us; it needs to be in conflict with private enterprises. Conflict is productive!

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the Orçamento Participativo in Funchal (the Government had already turned it down), it was turned down again. Will try to the Ornithological Society interested in it

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